Saturday evening marked what would be the final GIRLS!GIRLS!GIRLS! performance – at least in its current incarnation. For those of you unfamiliar with this strange phenomenon that I inadvertently started a little more than a year ago, it can be breifly summarized as this: four female musicians from various (and varying) bands come together a few times a year to perform an ecelctic mix of both original music and old standards – frequently in four-part harmony, eliciting both Vaudeville and Andrews Sisters comparisons.
Valentine’s Day was our fifth and final show together, and what a way to quit while we were on top. With our biggest turnout to date, we packed The Thirsty Ear wall to wall for most of the evening. The crowd was rambunctious and game for what we were dishing, and by the time we wrapped the set with a fiery little rendition of “Fever,” even the air in that room was on fire.
But let me rewind – to approximately 6 hours before the show. To where I’m just waking up (for the second time that day) and having trouble doing so. Hanging on my closet door is a red dress. It was once floor-length with a little rhinestone pin attached at the waste, but is now stripped of any ornamentation and cut jaggedly to nearly half its former length. You see, about a week before, I’d had grandiose ideas about revamping my dress from Christmas into a saucy little number for Valentine’s Day. But here we were, day of the show, with an unwearable garment hanging limply before me and little hope.
Procrastination becomes me. What can I say?
Anyway – at this point, my roommate and fellow GIRL! shows up in the form of salvation. She was a former costume design major in college, and although she didn’t complete the program, she did pick up a trick or two, and we now had about an hour and a half to put said tricks to use. I did what little I could, evening out the cut we’d made and pinning up a rough hem, the she took over, and something miraculous occurred: a little sewing machine action and a few darts later, we had an LRD that was not just wearable but quite the stunner. I threw a short, black petticoat underneath, pinned on a black rose where the rhinestones had been, pulled on some black tights and 4-inch ankle boots and…. voila! Out the door with time to spare, AND that dress got more compliments than anything else I’ve ever worn to ANY show. In short: my roommate is amazing, and may have a place on the next Project Runway.
But I’ll quit boring you tales of small fashion miracles.
What I’m really getting at is that these shows have been so fun, so challenging, so musically educational, and have given me the best excuse to work with three women I would’nt otherwise have much opportunity to and to sing songs I would have no other reason to sing. It started out one thing, and became something so completely novel and endearing, and the audiences at these have been some of the most moving I’ve ever had the pleasure of performing for. I’ll write rock forever, but it’s priceless to know the other possibilities and to have tasted them.
Now – a brief photo-essay of my experience as one of the GIRLS!: